Air Alliance Houston Statement on New EPA Chemical Disaster Prevention Rules

Statement by Jennifer Hadayia, Executive Director of Air Alliance Houston

“Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the new Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention Rule that aims to prevent the chemical disasters, leaks, and other accidents that plague our community with illegal air toxics. This is the strongest set of chemical disaster prevention rules issued by the EPA to date, reversing years of lax oversight.

“Texas has the most facilities in the country that use the kinds of volatile chemicals that create safety concerns. As a result, Texas is also the site of the most chemical-related incidents of any state. In Houston alone, there are almost 250 such facilities. That’s 250 potential disaster sites all the time. Just this January, before, during, and after Winter Storm Heather, over 465,000 pounds of excess air pollution were released in Houston, as unprepared facilities like Chevron Phillips, Exxon Mobil, and others struggled to sustain their operations in the face of extreme winter weather.

“This new rule will require these facilities to do better.

“It will require the adoption of stronger measures to prevent accidental chemical releases and to stop them once they occur. It will require community alerts, greater access to information by the public, the use of safer alternatives to many chemicals, and preparedness planning specifically for the effects of climate change. This is of key importance for us here in Houston, as a new study named Harris County the epicenter of future climate disasters. 

“Houstonians have lived for too long with the specter of another ITC fire or Shell Chemical shelter-in-place. The new rule will bring real improvements to air quality by reducing accidental releases, and it will bring peace of mind to fenceline communities.” 


Media contact: Riikka Pohjankoski, [email protected], 713 589 7079

About Air Alliance Houston
Air Alliance Houston is a non-profit organization working to reduce the public health impacts of air pollution and advance environmental justice through applied research, education, and advocacy. For more information and resources, please visit

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